Veterans escape economic uncertainty by starting their own business

Inflation, a chaotic stock market and rising reports of layoffs could have some service members worried about their short-term economic future. Those still in the military but considering transitioning soon might consider starting their own business to weather the financial storm.

Many Americans, veterans and non-veterans, have done so in the past year. According to Gusto, the payroll management company, 5.4 million new businesses were created in the United States in 2021, the highest recorded since the census began collecting statistics on business creation in 2012. Leading among those millions were new veteran entrepreneurs.

The new report showed that 10.7% of all new business owners in America were veterans, citing a 100% increase in the number of veteran-owned businesses compared to census data collection. from last year.

Gusto’s survey of new business owners asked veterans why they decided to start their own business, rather than looking for other sources of income. Unsurprisingly, 48% of respondents say they are worried about their financial situation. Other responses were based on some sort of economic need, such as layoffs and childcare costs.

Veterans are already a naturally entrepreneurial subset of the American population. Previous studies have shown that vets are 45% more likely to start their own business than their non-veteran counterparts.

The survey of new business owners found that this entrepreneurial spirit is emerging in the wake of the global pandemic, as a quarter of respondents said their startup was taking advantage of a pandemic-related business opportunity.

There were also a variety of industries in which vets chose to start their new businesses. Forty-seven percent of these companies produced consumer goods or were involved in construction, utilities, transportation and warehousing. Another big area was the retail, leisure and hospitality sectors, where 29% of veteran respondents have started businesses.

(Courtesy of Gusto)

A large number of new businesses owned by veterans is good for the economy as a whole. Previous census data shows nearly four million Americans were employed by veteran-owned businesses, and Gusto’s new survey finds these new businesses are looking to hire even more, despite perceived financial terms.

Sixty-three percent of veteran-owned businesses said they would hire more employees in 2022, and 71% said they would seek help in the coming year. So while media headlines can make things bleak for some, namely the tech sector, small businesses — especially those run by veterans — continue to drive economic growth across the country.

— Blake Stilwell can be reached at [email protected] It can also be found on Twitter @blakestilwell or on Facebook.

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